Wednesday, May 24, 2006

DEA disastrous for America

I'm whipped so I'm just going to post this that I found when I was looking for the exact figure of Karen Tandy's salary. I didn't find the number, which seems to me should easier to get since it's our money that pays for it, but this statement she made in April before the appropriations committee is enlightening on the DEA's operations. [All emphasis added]. Unsurprisingly, it starts with the forfeiture figures.
In FY 2005, DEA stripped domestic and foreign drug traffickers of nearly $1.9 billion in drug proceeds and revenue denied, which included $1.4 billion in asset seizures and $477 million in drug seizures. This, Mr. Chairman, exceeds DEA’s FY 2005 $1 billion goal for asset and drug seizures by 90 percent.
Then there's this interesting melding of the drug war and general intelligence on Americans.
Intelligence and National Security ($11.9 million and 57 positions – including one Special Agent and 42 Intelligence Analysts). In February of this year, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales signed a joint memorandum designating an element of DEA’s Intelligence Division to be a member of the Intelligence Community (IC). IC membership will allow DEA to expand and strengthen its existing relationships with our nation’s intelligence agencies. With 86 offices in 62 countries – the largest law enforcement presence abroad – DEA is poised to make valuable and lasting contributions in the intelligence arena.
In other words, they wish to further conflate drug dealing and terrorists and browbeat foreign governments into undertaking prohibition polices. And so much for their commitment to harm reduction.
Demand Reduction Program: DEA proposes to eliminate all positions dedicated to this program for a reduction of 40 positions (including 31 Special Agents) and $9.2 million. This proposal would allow DEA to focus on its core mission of drug law enforcement. When possible, however, Special Agents would participate in demand reduction activities on a collateral duty basis.
The savings on harm reduction are slated to be added to their harm enhancement program -- the harassment of pain management physicians.
Diversion and Control Fee Account (DCFA) : As I stated earlier, the President’s request includes $212 million under the DCFA, a $10.4 million increase over FY 2006. Of the total requested amount, DEA proposes funding of $3.4 million for DCFA program improvements. This funding would allow DEA to boost intelligence support (33 Intelligence Analysts) needed for diversion investigations. This request is a continuation of the FY 2006 Diversion Intelligence Initiative, whose goal is to place one Intelligence Analyst in every Field Division Diversion group.
Meaning they like milking the cash cow of forfeiture by targeting physicians. How do you think they managed to make that almost two billion in seized property? And they've upped their target for the next fiscal year. Remembering they can seize property without proving the crime first, you can be certain a hefty percentage came from doctors and not from the million low-level drug offenders taking up room in our prisons.

It doesn't bode well for the future of chronic pain sufferers or for a civil society.


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